Books

The Elusive Miss Donnithorne

The Recluse by Evelyn Juers Giramondo, 2012, 154 pages, $24 Miss Havisham, decaying but vigorous in her vengeful passion, lives. Over 150 years after her first appearance in Dickens’s Great Expectations she haunts us still. As I write she is appearing in at least two different manifestations at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a fact that will not surprise Evelyn Juers, who claims that Miss Havisham “rules in the history of literature like a queen”. Juers sets out, within a speculative framework, to discover the basis for the popular belief in Australia that Dickens based Miss Havisham on Eliza Donnithorne, a…

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